You can't put a label on anybody

Everyone has a story to tell, but few can be as fascinating as that of firefighter and former ‘kinky boot’ manufacturer Steve Pateman, who has put his experiences into a new book. He talked to Will Stone Northampton firefighter Steve Pateman, 56, once an entrepreneur, is the unlikely hero behind...

To serve as a Labour MP is an honour, not a right

A lifetime’s entitlement to a parliamentary seat is utterly undemocratic says FBU general secretary Matt Wrack --- THE FIRE BRIGADES UNION (FBU) conference in June made a bold and significant intervention into the Labour Party’s democracy review by demanding the party adopt mandatory reselection of...

A history of activism

Members taking part in this year’s FBU women’s school had two anniversaries to celebrate. Helen Hague talked to them about what they get from the school (all photos copyright of Jess Hurd) --- There was something rather special about the FBU women’s school in the union’s centenary year. Women in...

Standing with our communities against hate

Firefighters are challenging the poisonous ideology of the far right says Cameron Matthews. ---- Firefighters protect their communities from all sorts of dangers regardless of gender, race, age or sexual orientation; we are a humanitarian service. It’s why we must oppose the poisonous narratives...

FBU at Grenfell march

Deregulation and the Grenfell Tower fire

The deregulation of fire safety is essential in understanding how a death trap was created at Grenfell Tower, writes Matt Wrack Why was the Grenfell Tower fire allowed to happen? This is the central question that the Grenfell Tower Inquiry must answer. To get to the bottom of the issues, the public...

The long fight to ban toxic foam

Lifesaving fire safety regulations are a legacy of a 1979 fire in Manchester that lives on today - unlike the 10 people who died in the disaster, writes Helen Hague On 8 May 1979, toxic fumes from plastic foam-filled furniture killed 10 people and left 47 injured in the Woolworths store in...

Firefighters can act now on exposure to contaminants

The risk of exposure to cancer-causing contaminants at fires can be reduced with the adoption of simple procedures Shaun Williams remembers that, when he was a child in 1976, his retained firefighter father, Gareth, was paged to respond to a large 20-pump forest fire in Snowdonia, North Wales. He...

Now and always, resistance!

Firefighters and trade unionists were essential in liberating Italy from fascism. Their history needs to be remembered, writes Riccardo La Torre "The firemen will be there, again in front rank. We will have learnt in the Fire Brigades Union the lessons which must be applied to society as a whole...

Saving lives, protecting our people

Firefighters, as a result of their work, are exposed to contaminants that cause cancer. Sean Starbuck reports on an international firefighter conference that shows prevention is possible and that, when this fails, compensation is needed --- THE ISSUE of occupational cancer drew around 100...

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